Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Did Voxels permanently change the MMO landscape?

TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless ColumnistM, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

I did a blog about this but I'm interested to hear what other MMOers think (link below if you like ranting). From this point on IMO your either a Voxel based living world MMO or your second class. I see the older MMOs either finding a way to become voxelized or instantly becoming considered old gen/sub par. I know it's a bold statement but I think it's accurate. Even PVP vs PVE crowds agree that we want living worlds that we can change to play in, and voxels look like the way to go. Did Voxels permanently change the MMO landscape?

Yes? No? Maybe?


http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/082013/25421_40-Your-either-a-Voxel-MMO-or-your-not

«13

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

  • joe2721joe2721 las vegas, NVPosts: 161Member

    How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

    As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.

    image
  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by joe2721
    How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

    As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.


    Im basing my judgement on Minecrafts success. If people will play that ugly little game then surely a pretty MMO with the same features but on steroids will be even more successful.

    As per the other reply, They represent a shift in MMOs to being entirely customization worlds. Like a lego paradise. I'm saying the Voxel is ushering in the era of the customizeable MMO experience.

  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIPosts: 622Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

    Don't quite think he understands Voxels either.

     

    remember this?

     

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/386510/The-game-concept.html

     

    It is about building a world from objects.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tierless

     


    Originally posted by joe2721
    How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

     

    As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.


     

    Im basing my judgement on Minecrafts success. If people will play that ugly little game then surely a pretty MMO with the same features but on steroids will be even more successful.

    As per the other reply, They represent a shift in MMOs to being entirely customization worlds. Like a lego paradise. I'm saying the Voxel is ushering in the era of the customizeable MMO experience.

    If you want massive amounts of player customization, then the big barrier is transmitting what one player has done so that others can see it.  A 100 KB download every time you come near another player or something that another player has left in the game world is a complete non-starter.  Voxels don't help with that in the slightest.  You can have voxel models that take relatively little space by making them extremely blocky, but you can do the same thing with traditional rasterization by using low resolution textures and low vertex models.

    The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Leaving aside the quibbles over whether focusing on the word voxels was the right choice ... I'm in the "maybe" camp, leaning towards "no".  There is still a deep philisophical divide about whether to focus on giving players either open tools or closed experiences and I don't think one will ever completely win over the other.
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

    It seems to me that there are three variables: entropy, frequency and notice.  There's the amount of information you have to download to each client every time there's a change, the frequency with which people can change the world and the advance notice the server has that there is information that needs to be relayed to a client.

    For example:

    Costly: if you design the game such that players can create new tree bitmaps at will, you're potentially sending a lot of information (lots of information), very often (no limit to how fast you can plant them) with no delay (as soon as you make the change, every client needs to know as soon as possible.  Lots of room for problems and lag.

    Easy: you have a tree procedure that can draw a variety of trees from a few parameters and a nice fractal branching algorithm (low information), there's a limit of 1 tree per day (low frequency) and there's a 24-hour delay between planting the seedling and it appearing (lots of notice to update clients of players in the area that a change is coming).  Much more managable.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Leaving aside the quibbles over whether focusing on the word voxels was the right choice ... I'm in the "maybe" camp, leaning towards "no".  There is still a deep philisophical divide about whether to focus on giving players either open tools or closed experiences and I don't think one will ever completely win over the other.

    This is a good post (so was your followup).  I don't know if voxels, or other technologies are explicitly game changers, but I do think EQN will break a barrier on world interactivity in a way that hasn't quite been done before.  That, I think, will propel the genre forward.  It's not that static worlds or traditional sandbox world building will go away, but now there is this new factor in the room and it really can't be ignored.

    I think even between the two open/guided paradigms we will expect a new level of interactivity going forward.  It's not going to happen overnight for reasons both you and Quizz highlighted.  However, I do think an element has been introduced into the design room that can't be ignored going forward.

  • SuraknarSuraknar Montreal, QCPosts: 824Member

    ...

    I am not sure "living World" will actually be one... it is an Advanced Themepark...instead of the Dinosaurs being Reconstructed Skeletons and painted Vistas..they are Animatronics...

    It is a Punchline...

    It comes from the old School Players who have been throwing these words and terms even here in this forum (just read some older posts in the Sandbox vs Themepark Thread), to describe their experience with games old school Sandbox MMO's

    We had living world MMO's 15 years ago...This is not something new... and they were Living because they were driven by players, not Devs and AI.

    The New Themepark..(lets say EQN). strives to recreate some of that feeling through AI and for the new Generations of players who are accustomed to different type of MMO...

    Instead of the player being just a spectator in the audiance, we will be invited to be a bit more participants in the experience.

    But it is still a world that is pre-setup for a specific experience... we are not free to define it and give it a life of its own through us as would be the case with a Sandbox MMO.

    It is a Simulated Living World... I would call it "Simu-World" to make a distinction from the "living World" we refer to when talking about Old School Sandboxes such as UO or even SWG and some others.

    Cheers

     

    - Duke Suraknar -
    Order of the Silver Star, OSS

    image
    ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIPosts: 622Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

    It seems to me that there are three variables: entropy, frequency and notice.  There's the amount of information you have to download to each client every time there's a change, the frequency with which people can change the world and the advance notice the server has that there is information that needs to be relayed to a client.

    For example:

    Costly: if you design the game such that players can create new tree bitmaps at will, you're potentially sending a lot of information (lots of information), very often (no limit to how fast you can plant them) with no delay (as soon as you make the change, every client needs to know as soon as possible.  Lots of room for problems and lag.

    Easy: you have a tree procedure that can draw a variety of trees from a few parameters and a nice fractal branching algorithm (low information), there's a limit of 1 tree per day (low frequency) and there's a 24-hour delay between planting the seedling and it appearing (lots of notice to update clients of players in the area that a change is coming).  Much more managable.

     Unlike a heightmap which is two dimensional the voxel is defined in a third dimension so only thing that voxel technology did was make it possible to make overhanging structures and caves on the terrain and make it possible to build a model in three dimensional space.
     
    I don’t think trees would be a issue. Reason being that programs like Speedtree can draw massive amount of trees in micro seconds so the probability of using any voxel based technology for trees would be shooting ones self in the foot. The transmission of this change would be simply sending a small packet of data describing the position, tree type and its seed number.
     
    Same thing goes for mesh objects if the model exists on the clients machine then the amount of data transmitted is small. If the model however is made special such a from voxels then the entire data of the model has to be transmitted, processed and displayed. The limitation of bandwidth will be exceeded most likely when ever a special designed model comes into the AOI of the player and there would be a sharp lag spike as the data was updated on the client.
     
    The problem with networking data like terrain changes however is a whole new can of worms because the number of data positions that would be required to transmit become extremely large if more than one change is happening in the AOI (Area of Interest). If the data is happening locally such as a single player game this is not a issue because the data exists on the players machine.
     
    I could see it working if the chunks of data were extremely small or in the case I suspect that the changes only happen on the client until the data is processed. But then I wonder how much time is going to be consumed downloading changes every time one logs into the world or travels into someone's territory.
  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    Bros, what I'm saying is VOxels have brought forth the idea of letting us make everything, customize everything, alter everything. I know the difference, I'm trying to say the MEAN something, they show a shift from controlling us in a maze (SWTOR) to letting us build whatever. That mindset, the give us tools and set us free mindset is the thing that voxels have pushed forward and that will chance MMOs fro the better ya dig?

  • jerlot65jerlot65 Lake Mary, FLPosts: 788Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

    ?

     

    image
  • MrSaltyMrSalty South Windsor, CTPosts: 39Member Uncommon
    game is no where near done , yet its changed the mmo landscape? where do you come up with this crap
  • TorcipTorcip Sterling Heights, MIPosts: 669Member

    Voxels have been around for a while, it does one thing well and that's it.  It's not going to become the future of games it'll only be ONE way games are made.  

    You seem to want voxels only for how they allow superior customization, well that's not really what it does best and there are others ways of letting you have this much customization without using voxels.

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon

    A few knowledgeable people seem to be missing the point that was touched on above. Transmitting a huge amount of data in realtime is not possible in the realm of a mmo in the slightest of course. But you seem to be missing the glaring point that most of the data will be client side, as a poster wrote above a small packet would all that is needed so the client and the server 'know' what to change.

     

  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon

    At the end of the day the real answer is that Sony owns all of your asses and what they do others will follow.  They are like the McDonald's of MMO's.  Whereas McDonald's was the first big fast food chain and will pretty much co-opt any variations on their theme to hold that title, likewise Sony will do the same adding a bit of their own innovation here and there just to hammer those casket nails deeper.

    Starbucks thought they were something with the frozen coffee drinks huh?  McDonald's made their own and damn near put them out of business.  That's the kind of company Sony is as well.

    Will Voxel's change the MMO landscape?  Absofreakinglutely!  You can't go creating heaven and hell (in reference to their three tiered map structure) and expect others not to try to come up with something just as bad ass only different.  That's capitalism, it's going to happen.  Likewise, for all the cartoony naysayers out there, isn't it funny how a game that was, up until just the last iteration, FOCUSED on creating realistic looking "fantasy" characters was completely ok with going for the puffy, bouncy, tiggers a wonderful thing styled graphics in lieu of what I consider some extreme landscaping functionality?

    Sony owns your ass.  Don't you ever forget it.  WoW would not exist were it not for Verant and Verant belongs to who?

    In one fell swoop they are trying to put Minecraft, WoW, and all the others out of business, and it seems like the kid gloves are off.

    image
  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon
    Voxels are highly over rated..  It is a game creation tool.. big whoop..  It would be a shame is mmo's started to mimic Minecraft..  Next thing we'll have is MMO trying to copy Farmville
  • NaqajNaqaj Frankfurt am MainPosts: 1,673Member
    Voxels are just one way to do destructable terrain. There are others. Also, you're talking past tense about a game/tech that isn't out for at least another year. Aren't you getting a bit ahead of yourself?
  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rydeson
    Voxels are highly over rated..  It is a game creation tool.. big whoop..  It would be a shame is mmo's started to mimic Minecraft..  Next thing we'll have is MMO trying to copy Farmville

    Actually I think Farmville copied Age of Empires, which in turn copied about 4 other games.  Nothing is new anyways.

    image
  • TribeofOneTribeofOne Wellford, SCPosts: 1,006Member Uncommon
    what if they incorporated voxels in to the player characters... imagine pvp where you can actually hack someones arms off or cripple them. imagine adding body part repair to healers skills ...THAT would change MMO landscape lol
  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TribeofOne
    what if they incorporated voxels in to the player characters... imagine pvp where you can actually hack someones arms off or cripple them. imagine adding body part repair to healers skills ...THAT would change MMO landscape lol

    You're talking epic now.  Heck, just make the armor that way.  Rag me out if i don't make a pit stop every once in a while, I'd be tickled pink.

    image
  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon

    Whether the OP understands the technical definition of Voxel is rather irrelevent to the discussion. His hypothesis is ultimately correct in that Voxels will become synonymous with easy to generate player driven content and living world that changes with time. If SoE can pull this off and make creating content as easy as putting together Legos then they have created a killer app that will change everything. So put me in the Hell YES camp.

     

    The side topic of bandwidth being some type of limiting factor is a red herring argument. It is very easy to say an unproven technology won't work but at the same time look very foolish down the road when it actually does work. Don't think SoE would have proposed its' Voxel based world if they didn't think it was technologically feasible. We won't have to wait too long to find out who was right. When this goes into BETA the nay sayers are going to be in for a big shock. Furthermore second generation broadband 30Mbs+ connections laughs at the whole notion. If the naysayers were right about bandwidth we would still be stuck in the dial up era.

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,591Member Uncommon

    Wurm Online and Xsyon have already had terraforming and ability to build whatever you want. Neither changed MMOs permanently.

    Assuming that third MMO with same features would automatically be successful is illogical.

  • NaqajNaqaj Frankfurt am MainPosts: 1,673Member
    Originally posted by TribeofOne
    what if they incorporated voxels in to the player characters... imagine pvp where you can actually hack someones arms off or cripple them. imagine adding body part repair to healers skills ...THAT would change MMO landscape lol

    Voxels have pretty heavy limitations to how they can be animated, hence why you don't use them for characters.

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,549Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vrika

    Wurm Online and Xsyon have already had terraforming and ability to build whatever you want. Neither changed MMOs permanently.

    Assuming that third MMO with same features would automatically be successful is illogical.

    But then, you can't compare indie games with crap production quality and an AAA MMORPG made by one of the top developers of the genre...

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

«13
Sign In or Register to comment.